Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Benjamin Fisk - November 8, 1982

Working in the Camp as a Carpenter

So where did she go?

Well, she stayed with my brother for awhile there, you know. And uh, you know, when I went to the camp she stayed with him too until uh, you know, until she had to go--they caught her, you know. And then she went to camp, and then, you know, he was hiding out, you know, he had a hole underneath the house. He was hiding out underneath with the Jews in the ghetto. You know, what they did? They shut the water off. You can't live without water, you know, they knew so they had to come out. They took his wife, they took the children, you know, and he was already in camp, you know. He got liberated by the Americans. I got liberated, you know, in uh, in Polish ??? in Auschwitz by the Russians. He got liberated from the Americans, you know. He was liberated I think a few kilometers only from, from Landsberg, over there, you know. He wasn't far from Landsberg in a camp.

Wife: Tell her how much you weighed.

Well, I weighed thirty-five kilo when I went to Auschwitz. When I came to Auschwitz the Germans had said, you know, they weighed me, they put me in a scale they you know marked me down thirty-five kilo. I was the strong one already. Other people, you know, when I came from other camp or that--I, I imagine I was strong enough to carry them out from this truck, you know, but not so many were dead. I would have been dead, too. I was working as a carpenter and ???, and I got sick on my leg, you know. I couldn't eat. I had the food--I could take food as much as I want, you know, because they had to have me, you know, so they fed me but I couldn't eat. I couldn't leave the bed, except I couldn't eat, you know. So one day wintertime, you know, maybe in January, February--it was not probably February, you know, or December I don't remember exactly so many years ago you know, they were sending away people from the camp maybe fifty, forty, forty Czech Jewish people, you know, lots of young people. And the German from the--what he was, he was uh, he was ??? himself, comes in--the SS, you know, he said "Tischler," you know, "What I'm going to do with you?" You know, in German, "???" he knew--he came in and I was standing by the stove, you know. I didn't give a damn, what could I do? I couldn't get out of bed already, you know, I couldn't work anymore. He said that. "Wait a minute," in German, I says, "You can do something," I says. He looked at me he says ??? what can I do? I says, "Why don't you send me away and send a letter, you know, that I'm the Tischler from the camp," and, you know, I said ??? you know ??? and I told him. And he said, "You know, that's a good idea." So he went in to officer, you know, the SS and he went in there and wrote a letter ??? people so he sent Germans with a motorcycle, he brought ???, you know, he brought back--he took another guy off, he put me on the top, see, and he sent me to Monowitz by Auschwitz, you know. I came over there to camp, you know, and I didn't work--I couldn't work, but I was in the hospital, see, and I got liberated in the hospital. Yeah. You know, I was over there and there were some people from Sosnowiec and what I knew them from home you know. Not exactly my friends but friends from my--they were carpenters, too, you know, friends--my brother and I knew them pretty well, you know. They used to have machines--we used to go over there when my brother wasn't so rich yet, he couldn't afford a machine so we used to go with lumber over there and take it home. Plane the, the lumber and take it home, you know.

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